For most people, helicopter rides aren't part of our day-to-day lives. Occasionally, however, it's nice to jump in one and peer at the earth below you. Last summer my family and I took a cruise to Alaska. For someone who craves the outdoors, being cooped up in a ship for days is not the most exciting thing in the world. The various stops we made in Alaska were the most exciting parts of the trip. Stopping in Skagway, we decided to take a helicopter to the Meade Glacier.
Once you get your boots and jackets sized, you'll split into groups. Next you'll hop in the front seat of the chopper and take off! Incredible views of some of the world's most remote and beautiful wilderness are only a few minutes flight from where you take off. This is where you want a camera handy.
The first view of the glacier is nothing short of a spectacle, it's absolutely enormous. The adrenaline really starts to pump when you realise you're about to land on a natural wonder that has been moving for thousands of years. Landing goes smoothly and you hop out of the cockpit. Immediately, it feels like you're on another planet.
You'll get a briefing from the guides and a little info on the glacier before you're let off to explore the area. The glacier starts in British Columbia and ends in Alaska, and looking out you can see the border. Sadly, as beautiful and gigantic as it is, it - like most glaciers - has been receding at an alarming rate over the last decade.
Once you've gotten over the overwhelming display of clouds, snow and ice capped mountains, distant waterfalls and the fact that you just flew in a helicopter to get there, it's time to look at what exactly you're standing on. There are huge crevasses all over the place, so walk to the edge and take a look into the void...
There are even areas where water is rushing into the crevasses, creating little glacial waterfalls. It's freezing cold but you can also drink the water straight from your hands!
After you've managed to snap a few thousand photos of all there is to see without falling into the glacier, you eventually have to be dragged back to the helicopter by all the guides because as much as you want to, you can't stay forever.
It's alright though because the ride back to the Skagway port is gonna hit you with some stellar views to bring your spirits back up...
Although it's pricey, and you're on a time limit, with a rather large group of people - the minute you get on the glacier it's so huge it doesn't even matter. It was an experience I'll never forget, and if you like adventure and photography, it's the perfect place. If you have the opportunity I highly suggest you add it to your Do It Before You Die bucket list!
Written by Christian Lanley
Christian is a THISWORLDEXISTS Adventure Ambassador.